Crimes Of The Heart
The 1986 film adaptation was directed by Bruce Beresford and garnered three Academy Award nominations, including one for Henley for Best Adapted Screenplay. Set in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, the three Magrath sisters have gathered during their grandfather's final hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles, grave and yet, somehow, hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. In the end the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future, but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.